Ex-mayor pleads not guilty to taking flood relief money

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — A former mayor in West Virginia has pleaded not guilty to charges that she took federal flood relief funds intended for her city and paid herself extra money for working with a flood recovery team.

Ex-Richwood Mayor Chris Drennen was indicted on federal felony charges last month following a probe into her time as a recorder for the city during a flood in 2016. She appeared for her arraignment Monday in Nicholas County Circuit Court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses and one count of fraudulent schemes, WCHS-TV reported.

Drennan came under scrutiny as state investigators looked into the misuse of more than $3 million in flood relief to the city. The indictment alleges Drennen was paid for working with recovery team even before the group existed and after it was disbanded. If convicted, she could face up to 30 years in prison.

Her trial has been scheduled for Aug. 25. Drennan remains free on a personal recognizance bond.

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